24 March 2008

Towards a World without Walls

Today's NZ Herald carries an interesting read penned by Mike Moore, a former Prime Minister of New Zealand with a longtime interest in Foreign Affairs and Overseas Trade. As well as being a prolific author, in 1998 he also decided to run for the post of Director General of the World Trade Organisation - a position that he won after a protracted contest, and which he held from 1999 to 2002.

His column, titled: Arab states on the frontline of progress - gives a summary of his business dealings in the Middle East.

Some of his statements include interesting information.

For instance, he writes about the discussions around the UAE creating a new currency. If they were to do this, it would rank 4th in the world behind the US$, the Euro€ and the Yen¥. That's no small-time impact on the balance of foreign currencies!

Other points that caught my attention:
~ if the Gulf Co-operation Council (the GCC - made up of Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates) ever got their act together, it would be the seventh-largest economy in the developing world - twice the size of Turkey, South Africa, or Argentina. Its global savings are higher than China's, and its current account surplus on a par with China.

~ The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is second only to the Bank of Japan in terms of assets.
~ The International Monetary Fund suggests infrastructure investment will reach $800 billion by 2010. On the respected index of economic freedom, the GCC is well ahead of Russia, China, and India. Half the GCC states score ahead of Italy.

~ Only 40 per cent of Dubai's income is now resource-based.
~ Dubai now enjoys more tourists than Egypt. (I don't know that "enjoys" would be the word that I would use to describe it!)

The article is an interesting read written by a man whose credentials and experience in Foreign Affairs and Overseas Trade make him an authority in this area.

If that's not enough to qualify him, Mike is married to Yvonne. Those kiwis who remember back to the 70s will know Miss Yvonne as the host of the NZ version of the children's program Romper Room. Her experiences would surely have rubbed off on Mike and better-equipped him for playing in the sandpit with the other kids!

Link to article

Mike's website - Towards a World without Walls
Mike's Wikipedia Entry
WTO bio
Prime Ministers of New Zealand


Destitute Rebel said...

A wonderful read, thanks for the links.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

NZM, very interesting read… thank you for posting on the community blog.

And please don't be turned off by those party poopers suggesting that what Mike Moore is saying is a mere 'drivels', I mean, a former head of the world trade organization must be at least three times more knowledgeable about economical matters than an architect who's confined to the realms of Al qouz, right?!

Momo the Wonder Dog said...

Without walls for people (or us dogs)? or just without walls for corporations? The WTO seems heavily biased toward the latter. Grrr.

CK said...

Surprise Surprise!

There was an article in yesterday's Gulf News by Mike Moore.

Seems like Gulf News subscribes to your feed and cross-posts ;)

nzm said...

DReb: Glad you found it so - and so good to see you back with us in blogging land!

DJazz: thanks - also for your words of support. Don't worry - I'm not turned off at all - it just annoys me when people who criticise also contribute nothing of value to the conversation - except to see their own bleating in print!

Momo: I hear you! It annoys the hell out of me when I can buy better NZ produce in other countries than what I could buy in NZ - and all we got there was inferior produce from other countries! Trade organisations have a lot of bad to answer for in their quest for export dollars.

Catherine: That's too funny - it was almost the same article, word for word! I found it online too.

I think that they follow the UAE Community blog rather than this one - I cross-posted to the UAE Comm blog too.

meg said...

there's no doubt he's a very smart man, thanks for the informative post... we'll catch up when you come over eh?

CK said...

NZM: Considering the magnitude of cash involved, do you think a career switch into wealth management a good idea?

Personally, I feel the switch would be more gratifying than equities & futures.

Omar said...

Unfortunately and sadly, Yemen is not a part of the GCC; though it's in the Arabian Peninsula. I don't see how the GCC can get their act together, without involving Yemen; in the long run, both the GCC and Yemen need each other as they are a part of each other.

East Africa (my other home) and the East African community, have got it right by involving and including Rwanda and Burundi; though these two aren't at all that close to East African countries.

The Flying Pigeon said...

Hi - thanks for your note about the Olympic torch protests. I don;t know too much about the Chinese-language press but I can tell you that the China Daily English language has more or less been forced to pay attention to the protests. My view would be that the protests have snowballed into such a big story that they actually look silly ignoring them. See: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-04/11/content_6609477.htm

I imagine the Chinese-language media is also looking at them because China Daily is full of stories about Chinese netizens being up in arms about it. They ar also making the most of protestors attacking one of their disabled athletes carrying the flame. However, they did not cover the initial protests in Greece when the torch relay started.

The government has also come out with some terrorism-related stuff - potential Tibetan separatist suicide hits and now Muslim terror gangs from Xinjiang (near the Kazakh border) wanting to bomb the Games, kidnap foreigners and so on. As someone who hasn't been here very long, I wouldn;t want to comment on the probable veracity of this stuff...

kaya said...

And time for something new my love.
Thankyou for all your love and support during my days of insecurity. You complete me.